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Implementation Completion Report (ICR) Review - Ghana:fisheries

1. Project Data:   
ES Date Posted:
Project Name:
Project Costs(US $M)
 10.50  8.37
Loan/Credit (US $M)
 9.0  7.75
Sector, Major Sect.:
Animal production, Central government administration,
Agriculture fishing and forestry; Law and justice and public administration
Cofinancing (US $M)
L/C Number:
Board Approval (FY)
Partners involved
Closing Date
06/30/2001 12/21/2002
Prepared by: Reviewed by: Group Manager: Group:  
John English
Laurie Effron Alain A. Barbu OEDST

2. Project Objectives and Components:

a. Objectives
The objective of the project was to establish the long-term sustainability of the fisheries resource and, thereby, maximize its contribution to the economy. To achieve this objective, the project was to build the capacity of the Department of Fisheries (DOF) for managing the sub-sector, focusing on capacity for: formulating policy and management plans and their implementation; monitoring, surveillance, control, and enforcement; and promoting the development of inland fisheries.

b. Components
The project, as defined, was divided into four components:

Strengthening the Department of Fisheries: (US$5.0 million - or 48 percent of project cost). This was to: (i) strengthen the capacity of the DOF in financial management, collection and management of fisheries levies, budget planning and management through technical assistance and training of staff in extension methods, marketing, fisheries resource management, fisheries economics, and monitoring, control and surveillance; (ii) reorganize DOF and establish new divisions to deal with marine fisheries management and monitoring, control and surveillance; and (iii) revise fisheries legislation.
Marine Fisheries Management: (US$2.2 million - or 21 percent of project costs). This component was to (i) build national capacity for stock assessment of marine fisheries resources through trawling trials, catch evaluations and acoustic surveys; (ii) improve the quality of fisheries statistics through updating frame surveys, aerial census and registration of fishing vessels; (iii) prepare fishery management plans; (iv) promote community based fisheries management; and (v) rehabilitate a fisheries research vessel.
Inland Fisheries management: (US$1.5 million - or 14 percent of project cost. This was to: (i) support improved management and development of lake fisheries through stock assessments; (ii) promote community based management of fisheries in lakes; (iii) prepare and implement management plans in lake fisheries: and (iv) expand aquaculture through extension services.
Monitoring, Control and Surveillance (MCS): (US$1.8 million - or 17 percent of project cost). To establish the MCS systems in both marine and lake fisheries, including the contribution of the Ghanaian Navy to implement the MCS function at sea.

c. Comments on Project Cost, Financing and Dates
Total project costs were US$8.37 million, compared with the appraisal estimate of US$10.5 million, and the undisbursed balance of US$600,000 was cancelled. The credit was extended twice for a total of 18 months.

3. Achievement of Relevant Objectives:

Overall, the project achieved most of its major objectives, but with significant shortcomings.
The DOF was reorganized into five divisions and their capacity enhanced to conduct stock assessment, and to prepare and implement management plans. Coordination and collaboration between the different agencies involved in the management of the fisheries resources has improved, and stock assessments in the marine sector and Volta Lake systems have been conducted and management plans prepared.
A monitoring, control and surveillance system has also been established and the Fisheries Law enacted by Parliament.
Aquaculture extension has been strengthened through training, and fingerling production centers have been established.

4. Significant Outcomes/Impacts:

The reorganization of the DOF, designed to eliminate ambiguity and emphasize fisheries resource management functions, was a success. All five divisions were created with clearly defined, measurable roles, and are performing satisfactorily. The DOF's capacity has also been strengthened through the collection and management of fisheries levies, that will help finance the increase in services to be provided to the fishing industry. Following the revision of licence fees during project implementation to reflect the type of catch, total revenue from licence fees has been more than doubled in real terms (18 fold in nominal terms).
Although handicapped because of resources (see below), significant progress has been made in marine fisheries management. Survey work was carried out on an ad hoc basis, but a management plan was prepared and approved by the Ministry in 2001. Implementation of the plan is being carried out, but with some difficulty. The political will to enforce aspects of the plan, such as banning of all trawlers, including shrimpers, from fishing within the 30 meter depth zone, imposing closed seasons for fishing, banning of beach seining at estuaries, enforcing stricter minimum mesh size regulations, and discontinuing the issuance of permits for trawlers, is lacking.
Some progress was made in inland fisheries management. A survey was carried out of activity on Lake Volta, that identified more than 70,000 fishermen and their gear, operating from over 1,200 villages. This, together with a stock assessment, formed the basis of a Volta Lake Fisheries Management Plan, that included proposals for six follow-up projects. This was being reviewed by the Fisheries Commission (FC) at project completion.

5. Significant Shortcomings (include non-compliance with safeguard features):

While the revised Fisheries Law was passed, its late passage was a setback for the project, particularly as it clarified the role and responsibilities of the FC. Some problems were faced in passing the Fisheries Bill because of uncertainty over the FC's responsibilities.

Problems were encountered because the DOF research vessel for data collection was never refurbished, as planned, since the bids for the repairs far exceeded the amount originally estimated at appraisal. The Department was able to make use of a vessel belonging to FAO and Japanese funding was also used to charter a commercial vessel. It would have been better to have arranged for such measures in the first place.

The project envisaged that fisheries management would be based on the traditional leadership structure linked to Community Based Fisheries Management Committees (CBFMCs). This worked well in the marine sector but progress was limited on Lake Volta, because of friction between migrant groups and traditional local leaders.

The objective of the MCS component was only partially achieved with the establishment of the MCSD. Using counterpart funds the DOF contracted the Ghanaian Navy and, in conjunction with MCSD, organized a joint patrol program and began to regularly enforce the fishing regulations in the marine sector and Volta Lake. Substantial increases in charges by the navy during the project period, however, led to a reduction in the frequency of patrolling, although reports indicate that infractions of the regulations such as: the frequency of industrial fishing at under 30 meter depth and use of illegal gear, remain below pre-project levels. The prospects for future enforcement remain unclear. The migrant/traditional leadership frictions in the Volta lake area also hampered enforcement there.

6. Ratings:ICROED ReviewReason for Disagreement/Comments
SatisfactoryModerately Unsatisfactory Although most of the major relevant objectives were achieved, there were significant shortcomings (see Section 5) that were responsible for sustainability being rated as "unlikely". Given that increasing sustainability was the primary objective, a "satisfactory" rating appears unjustified.
Institutional Dev.:
Bank Performance:
Borrower Perf.:
Quality of ICR:

7. Lessons of Broad Applicablity:

Where project performance is heavily dependent upon the passage of legislation, consideration might be given to phasing an operation, so that political uncertainties do not hold up significant parts of the project and lead to waste of resources.

8. Audit Recommended?  No


9. Comments on Quality of ICR:

The ICR is generally satisfactory. But the "lessons learned" are more in the nature of specific conclusions on project performance than lessons that might be drawn for future operations.

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